Mizzou jump out to early lead to top Alabama A&M

Coach Jamieson was far from pleased with the 5–3 win.
Missouri head coach Tim Jamieson has a meeting on the mound with freshman pitcher Ty Shoaff during the game against Arkansas Pine-Bluff March 2 in Taylor Stadium.

It’s no secret that Missouri struggled last season in mid-week nonconference games against teams with less talent. Through the first four innings of Wednesday afternoon’s game against Alabama A&M (2–12), it looked like the Tigers (12–3) had learned from last year’s mistakes and were going to cruise to an easy win.

They made it far from easy, however.

After scoring in three of the first four frames and jumping out to a 4-0 lead, Mizzou looked to be on the path to an easy win, but then got lackadaisical in the field, and the offense stalled. The Tigers held on for a 5–3 win, but coach Tim Jamieson was far from pleased.

“I thought we played arrogant,” Jamieson said. “You go out there with the same approach no matter who you’re playing. We weren’t dialed in to the point we needed to be.”

In 2015, the Tigers suffered significant losses in mid-week contests to Air Force, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Arkansas-Little Rock and Southeast Missouri State. The sting of those defeats was a key reason why Mizzou was left out of the NCAA Tournament field. Jamieson reiterated that message to his players after the game.

“It’s not about the opponent,” Jamieson said. “It’s about the game.

In the opening frame, the Tigers took advantage of a two-out error and senior first baseman Zach Lavy (1-for-3, 2 RBIs, R) delivered a two-RBI single to open up the scoring. Freshman right fielder Connor Brumfield (2-for-4, 2 RBIs) slashed an RBI-base hit the opposite way in the second inning to extend the lead to three. The Rock Bridge graduate later added another RBI-single on a chopper up the middle to make it 4–0. It was a big bounce-back performance for Brumfield, who went 0-for-5 at the plate against Illinois-Chicago on Sunday.

“He doesn’t get too high or low,” Jamieson said of Brumfield’s performance. “That’s been the temperament of all these freshmen.”

Alabama A&M notched just one hit through five, and Tigers starter Ryan Lee (W, 2–1) had thrown just 48 pitches. The Bulldogs got to him in the sixth, cutting the lead in half on a pair of RBI singles.

Mizzou got a run the bottom half of the inning. Alabama A&M responded with another run in the seventh to stay within striking distance. The Tigers would need clutch relief efforts from sophomore right-hander Cole Bartlett and freshman right-hander Brian Sharp to close out the victory. Sharp (SV, 3) recorded a four-out save to pick up his third save of the season.

“It could have gone downhill real fast,” Lavy said. “Our pitchers kept throwing strikes and we finally ended up making some plays.”

The Tigers will continue their home stand with a three-game series against Youngstown State, beginning 6 p.m. Friday. The game will be broadcasted on SEC Network+ and can be heard on KTGR.

Edited by Alec Lewis | alewis@themaneater.com

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